Hopelessness among White- and Indian-identified American Indian adolescents

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2010 Jul;16(3):437-42. doi: 10.1037/a0019887.


Despite a number of investigations into the protective effects of ethnic and cultural identity among a variety of diverse populations, there have been relatively few studies that examine the relationship between this identity and American Indian mental health. This brief report investigates the associations between ethnic/cultural identification and feelings of hopelessness among American Indian adolescents. Data were drawn from middle-school respondents on a reservation community at 2 time points 14 months apart. Although White cultural identification was significantly and negatively correlated with hopelessness at 14 months, Indian cultural identification was not associated with hopelessness at either time point. These results are discussed with attention to the developmental stage of our respondents and to the possibility of social dynamics relevant to this particular reservation community.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schools
  • Self Concept
  • Social Identification*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Whites